Uninsured DriversJanuary 16, 2019
A car accident is a jarring and unexpected event – and if the other driver is uninsured, many drivers wonder how they will receive critical compensation for their injuries and property damage.
Fortunately, in Maryland drivers hit by the uninsured are partly protected through the enactment of Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage that every driver must carry. The process provides some relief, but is not a foolproof solution to the dangers of being hit by someone who is not carrying motor vehicle insurance.
The first thing drivers should know to do in the case of an accident is to exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers. Sometimes the other driver will state outright they do not have current insurance, or in other cases the victim discovers this when insurance information provided is found to be invalid or expired.
For those who have been the victim of an accident with an uninsured driver, the foremost concern is how to take care of medical costs for any injuries, and compensation for automobile damages. Maryland policyholders are required to carry a minimum of $30,000 in UM coverage, which is designed to protect the driver if they have been hit by an uninsured or an underinsured driver. Policyholders also have the option to purchase more than the minimum amount.
UM coverage also applies when someone is struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
This law means that as the driver, your own mandatory UM insurance coverage will take care of the costs – but only up to the amount of coverage. The danger is that for drivers who carry the minimum UM coverage, anything over that amount will not be paid by their own insurer – leaving many drivers at risk.
Drivers in accidents where there is a serious injury or death, which far exceeds the threshold of coverage, have legal recourse they may take. Because the business of dealing with the insurance industry is convoluted for the average consumer, it is a good idea to consider engaging an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer before undertaking this process alone.
When someone is in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, as with any accident, the first steps are to address any immediate injuries, and contact law enforcement to document the accident. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their names and phone numbers, as emergency responders will not always have the manpower to do this at an accident scene.
If feasible, document the accident with photos using a smartphone and make note of any road and weather conditions. Next, all drivers should contact their own insurer to report the accident and file a claim, which begins the process of determining liability.
In the cases of an uninsured/underinsured driver, the victim has the option, if their own coverage is not sufficient, to file a lawsuit against their insurer, as well as the other driver.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Victims of Uninsured Motorists
If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident involving any uninsured motorists, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and advocating for victims, including those who have been hit by uninsured/underinsured motorists. To discuss your case in confidence please contact us online or call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529).
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.